Courses - Summer 2020

GOVT 1111 Introduction to American Government and Politics

A policy-centered approach to the study of government in the American experience.  Considers the American Founding and how it influenced the structure of government;  how national institutions operate in shaping law and public policy; who has a voice in American politics and why some are more influential than others; and how existing public policies themselves influence social, economic, and political power.  Students will gain an introductory knowledge of the founding principles and structure of American government, political institutions, political processes, political behavior, and public policy.

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Claire Leavitt (ccl228)
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GOVT 1615 Introduction to Political Theory

This course offers a survey of political theory in the West. We will examine some of the persistent dilemmas of politics and the attempts of several canonical political theorists to respond to them: Plato, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Marx, and Nietzsche. In each case, we will attend to the particular crises these theorists addressed in their work—such as imperialism, the European wars of religion, the English Civil War, the French Revolution, and industrial capitalism—as well as the broader philosophical and political issues they continue to pose to us now. Our approach will be both historical and conceptual, providing students with an understanding of political theory as a distinctive form of political inquiry.

Distribution: (HA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Full details for GOVT 1615 : Introduction to Political Theory
GOVT 1817 Making Sense of World Politics

An introduction to the basic concepts and practice of international politics with an emphasis on learning critical thinking.  The course is divided into two parts. In the first half, we will learn about different explanations.  In the second half, we will apply these explanations to a set of international events.  

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Chip Gagnon (vpg1)
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GOVT 3071 Enduring Global and American Issues

The US and the global community face a number of complex, interconnected and enduring issues that pose challenges for our political and policy governance institutions and society at large.  Exploring how the US and the world conceive of the challenges and take action on them is fundamental to understanding them.  This course investigates such issues, especially ones that fit into the critically important areas of sustainability, social justice, technology, public health and globalization, security and conflict, among others. Students will engage with these areas and issues and the challenges they pose, using multiple frameworks and approaches, through weekly class discussions and lectures."

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: David Silbey (ds90)
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GOVT 3141 Prisons

The United States stands alone among Western, industrialized countries with its persistent, high rates of incarceration, long sentences, and continued use of the death penalty. This "American exceptionalism" -- the turn to mass incarceration -- has been fostered by the use of sharply-delineated categories that define vast numbers of people as outlaws and others as law-abiding. These categories that are based on ideas of personal responsibility and assumptions about race are modified somewhat by a liberal commitment to human rights.   Our purpose in this course is to understand how such ideas have taken root and to locate the consequences of these ideas for policy and practice. 

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Mary Katzenstein (mfk2)
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GOVT 3150 The American Legal System

This course offers a comprehensive introduction to the American legal system, its roots in natural and common law, the purposes/values it serves (e.g., resolution of private grievances; punishment of offenses against the polity and individuals; preservation, development, and limitation of individual and group rights; and facilitation of commerce and private agreements), and the roles of the judiciary, legislature, and private parties. The course is taught using the Socratic method employed at most US law schools and introduces students to fundamental concepts and techniques used by attorneys and courts in analyzing cases, interpreting statutes, and determining disputes. As in law school, students are expected to read assigned materials before each class meeting and to participate actively in class discussions. For additional information, see the Summer Session website.  

Distribution: (CA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Full details for GOVT 3150 : The American Legal System
GOVT 3683 Comparative Corruption

Corruption, and the perception of corruption, pervades many aspects of society and has become a source of political protest around the world. This course focuses on the similarities and differences between forms, causes, and effects of corruption in various environments. The course starts with a discussion of the definitions, causes, and effects of corruption across countries, and then turns to particular forms and contexts where corruption is observed: for example, developed and developing countries, conflict-ridden societies, and international investment. We will also discuss some of the potential solutions to corruption and their costs and benefits for political and civil society.

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Patricia Young (pty6)
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GOVT 3686 What Makes Us Human? An Existential Journey amidst Crisis

What sets us apart, and brings us together, as humans – and what are the socio-political implications? Seeking understanding, this course is an odyssey onto the human condition and its politics, honing together a new theoretical-empirical lens: political existentialism. Utilizing edX HOPE online course, we shall examine, one by one, a dozen themes, on both the individual/universal level and the socio-political plane: Human/nature, identity & authenticity, freedom, reflection, happiness, death & dread, meaning, morality, truth & trust, God & religion, alienation & love, and finally – hope.

Distribution: (KCM-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Uriel Abulof (ua42)
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GOVT 3827 China and the World

Study of the dramatic rise of China through reviewing major developments in contemporary Chinese foreign policy since the establishment of the People's Republic of China (PRC), and concentrating more specifically on major developments in Chinese foreign policy during the 1980s and 1990s. Such a wide-ranging survey of Chinese foreign policy involves not only a consideration of the evolution of China's relations with its major bilateral partners but also an investigation of how China has defined its broader relationship with the international system. In addition, students are asked to consider which causal factors have been of primary importance in motivating Chinese behavior.

Distribution: (CA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Allen Carlson (arc26)
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GOVT 3887 Int'l Human Rights in Theory & Practice
Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Elizabeth Brundige (eb456)
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